Noel Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys among Mercury Prize contenders

The Arctic Monkeys arrive at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 8, 2015. — Reuters pic
The Arctic Monkeys arrive at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 8, 2015. — Reuters pic

LONDON, July 26 — Albums by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the Arctic Monkeys and Florence + The Machine are among the 12 contenders for the Mercury Prize, organisers of the British music award said today.

The annual £25,000 (RM133,534) prize, seen as less mainstream than the Brit Awards, honours music by British and Irish acts. Organisers said this year’s selection celebrated musicians “at all stages of their careers”.

The shortlist also includes singers Lily Allen, Jorga Smith, Nadine Shah and King Krule, jazz group Sons of Kemet, MC Novelist, bands Wolf Alice and Everything Everything as well as collaborative album Everything is Recorded, spearheaded by XL Recordings founder Richard Russell.

“This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges — whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back, angry or ecstatic,” the judges said.

“The music here is funny and inspiring, smart and moving.”

Past winners include singers Sampha and Benjamin Clementine and grime artist Skepta.

This year’s prize will be awarded on September 20 in London. — Reuters

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